tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 10, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT
we don't want to vote with the hawks, like mccain, who have pushed obama to this deeper involvement in that country's civil war. tomorrow night we will know more. i am not sure we will know enough more to make this decision any easier than it looks right now. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight on "all in," a weigh-out. an offhand remark by secretary of state john kerry may have actually paved the way for the u.s. to avoid a military strike in syria. that in just a moment. also tonight, michael bloomberg accuses a new york mayoral candidate of running a racist campaign for campaigning with his family. that candidate will be here to respond directly. and later, george zimmerman is briefly taken into police custody after he allegedly threatened his estranged wife and her father with a handgun. reaction to this story is coming
up. but we begin tonight with a remarkable and possibly accidental development in the ongoing march towards a u.s. military attack on syria. the white house has clearly been in full court press mode, scheduling interviews for the president with six news networks for tonight, heralding president obama's speech to the nation tomorrow night, all to persuade a deeply skeptical american public and congress of the necessity of a military strike against syria. in what seemed to be a political train wreck in the making and/or the possibility of yet another war in the middle east, suddenly, today looks like a crisis that might be improbably altogether avoided. when secretary of state john kerry, asked at a london press conference if syria could do anything to stop an attack, said this. >> sure. he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. turn it over, all of it, without
delay, and allow a full and total accounting for that, but he isn't about to do it, and it can't be done, obviously. >> within a matter of hours, that idea was being quite taken seriously enough that president obama was addressing it in his interview with nbc news's savannah guthrie. >> i think what we're seeing is that a credible threat of a military strike from the united states, supported potentially by a number of other countries around the world, has given them pause and makes them consider whether or not they would make this move. and if they do, then this could potentially be a significant breakthrough, but we have to be skeptical, because this is not how we've seen them operate over the last couple of years. >> in between secretary kerry's appearing to be offhand remark and president obama treating it publicly as a potential breakthrough, we saw this. from the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov -- "if
the establishment of international control of chemical weapons over n that country would allow avoiding strikes, we will immediately start working with damascus." from the syrian foreign minister "i announce the arab republic of syria welcomes the russian initiative." from british prime minister david cameron "if syria were to put its chemical weapons beyond use under international action, clearly that would be a big step forward. i think we have to make sure this is not a distraction tactic." from dianne feinstein -- "oiwd welcome such a move. i believe russia can be most effective in encouraging the syrian president to stop any use of chemical weapons and place all his chemical munitions as well as storage facilities under united nations control until they can be destroyed." then from former secretary of state hillary clinton, who was at the white house today to speak about wildlife trafficking, but who was expected to open her remarks by addressing syria after having just pretty with president obama, secretary clinton said this. >> now, if the regime
immediately surrendered its stockpiles to international control, as was suggested by secretary kerry and the russians, that would be an important step. it is very important to note that this discussion that has taken hold today about potential international control over syria's stockpiles only could take place in the context of a credible military threat. >> meanwhile, as secretary kerry's idea took off, over at the state department, they felt the need to clarify. kerry was "speaking rhetorically about a situation we thought had very low probability of happening. we will have to take a hard look at the russian statement." and in an already remarkable day, president obama said he had not yet decided what he would do if he lost the votes in congress.
>> for me, the president, to act without consensus in a situation where there's not a direct, imminent threat to the homeland or interests around the world, that's not the kind of precedent that i want to set. i think it's important for me to listen. i've made my decision about what i think is best for america's national interests, but this is one where i think it's important for me to pay close attention to what congress and the american people say. >> are you confident you're going to get the votes? >> you know, i wouldn't say i'm confident. i'm confident that the members of congress are taking this issue very seriously and they're doing their homework, and i appreciate that. >> and now, senate majority leader harry reid has announced a delay in the first vote to officially open debate on syria. reid offers a major factor with this development. perhaps reid just doesn't have the votes. msnbc news correspondent kristen
welker, my head is spinning at the rapidity of these developments. am i wrong as an observer on the outside and doing a little reporting talking to people around the white house and so forth, this was not a planned rollout of this idea, john kerry speaking in england today before the british foreign office, to get from that point "a" to the president's point "b" interview, this is not what everyone's expecting when this day began. >> you're absolutely right. this was not a planned rollout, this was not an official offer. i think it's important to point out, though, it comes against the backdrop of conversations like this going on behind the scenes between secretary kerry and his counterparts. president obama said that he addressed this idea with president putin. however, they didn't put a whole lot of weight to this idea. that's why you heard secretary kerry sort of dismiss it as soon as he brought it up. but what happened today in my conversations with the white house is that the response by the russians, by the syrians
seem to be more serious than what they had heard until today. and one of the things that they point to is the fact that there was an acknowledgement and there has been an acknowledgement now that syria has chemical weapons. this is really the first time that syria has acknowledged that. so, that is a significant development. having said that, chris, there is still a lot of skepticism here at the white house and on capitol hill, in part because syria's chemical weapons are spread out all over the country, and there's a lot of questions about how would the international community actually get in to secure the chemical weapons and confirm that they had reached all of those chemical weapons sites? so, certainly, a striking turn of events today. it sort of seemed to recalibrate this entire process and negotiations. however, while there is some hope that possibly russia and syria could be serious about this, there's also a lot of concern about how realistic this proposal is.
but you are right to point out the fact that this was not something that secretary kerry was planning going into today. >> well, the definition of news is the unexpected. >> yes. >> and what we saw today was genuine news. and i think it's clear that we don't quite know, every day that develops in terms of the syria story, we don't know what will come next, which brings us to tomorrow night. the president is still planning on addressing the american public in prime time. we will carry it here live on msnbc. has that -- do your sources tell you if that speech has now changed based on what happened today? >> i wouldn't be surprised if president obama referenced the developments of today. i think they are still working through that. but certainly, his tone, i think, tomorrow will be to stress what we have heard from the white house in this full court press, which is that the use of chemical weapons are a threat to the united states' national security. he will likely bring up concerns over what iran might do.
and again, he'll probably reiterate that point that you heard him make there in the interview with savannah guthrie, which is that these latest developments came because the united states was threatening a military strike, and that has been a part of moving the needle. in terms of the extent to which he will discuss these latest developments, i think that all of that is still being sorted through, because these developments are sort of evolving rapidly around all of us, including the folks at the white house. >> nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker, thank you so much. joining me is tandem and sam stein. sam, reid has said he's delaying the vote. it looked like the senate was going to vote on wednesday. it now looks like they're delaying that vote. how do we understand that decision to delay? >> well, first of all, are we sure there haven't been any major developments on syria since you started? >> it's entirely possible! >> i think you have to interpret the delay as the most logical
answer is probably the right one here, which is that they just don't know if they have the votes at this point. that said, i do think this russia gambit actually has caused a lot of senators to say, okay, let's seek this out, let's see what happens here. i spoke to joe manchin, conservative democrat from west virginia who's on the armed services committee. he is so opposed to intervening in syria. this gave him the opportunity to say, listen, let's put the pause button for a little bit. he has a resolution out saying let's have 45 days, let's see if syria will sign on to the chemical weapons convention, let's see if they will give up their stockpiles and agree that they would have international inspections, and then we can make a determination. so, basically, the mood on the hill, at least on the senate side, is let's just slow down a little bit. we don't want to rush into it. and partially, reid is taking that, partially i think he's worried about the vote counts. >> what's remarkable about the developments today is it provides an off-ramp in two ways. it provides an off-ramp to a possible military confrontation in which missiles would fly, things would be destroyed and people would die, and that is by far the most important development today.
a subsidiary calculation is that it provides a strange adjustment to the political calculus on the hill. this has looked to me like just speaking in totally political terms, headed towards a disastrous result at the white house, because every whip count indicates the support is just not there. it's not popular in the country, it's not popular among congress. latest whip count has 22 against in the senate, 44 undecided, 25 for. in the house, you have 122 against, undecided 169 and only 26 declared for. what do you think is happening on the hill right now and between the white house and the hill about the politics of these upcoming votes with the developments today and with the president speaking tomorrow? >> well, i think the most important thing is the developments around russia. obviously, we have to look at what our goal was here. our goal is actually to insure that there isn't chemical weapons used in the world. that's the actual, you know, that's what the president's been talking about for weeks.
and if we can have a situation where we get rid of chemical weapons or they're taken out of syria, i mean, that's an important objective of our foreign policy. so, it seems to me the substance here really does matter. obviously, the president had a huge uphill battle in the house. i think things look better in the senate. but you know, the truth is, this is the kind of issue where people are not going to declare until the last moment. i do think we've obviously heard a lot of skepticism. the country is war-weary. so, i think there are developments around russia, important developments substantively, but obviously is to at least allow people to take a few more minutes to breathe, make the president -- allow the president, actually, to make his arguments. and we'll see where we are on wednesday. >> well, what possible -- i mean, you've been involved on the hill for a while and you were in the administration during obama care. i mean, what possible argument does the president have to war-weary members of congress? i mean, what is that -- what is
the case? the case can be made in a sort of abstract level, it could be made at the level of this important international norm, but in a brass tacks political sense, what is the possible upside for a yes vote on this if your district really doesn't want this to happen? >> look, i think the big problem the president is facing, and it's almost an unfortunate thing, is this isn't the political calculus vote, you know. you can't really argue to members, by the way, this is going to be a huge win for you, because it's supposed to be a limited act. it's supposed to be a limited action, so we're not going to have some giant invasion or anything that american troops will feel, americans will feel will rally around it. it's supposed to be very limited. so, i don't think that the arguments here are political. they really are substantive. the substantive arguments are that, you know, if chemical weapons become ubiquitous, if people just use chemical weapons, especially in the middle east, that's going to endanger global security over
the long term, and the united states will be forced to act more aggressively with more, you know, more military engagement in the future. if this is a limited act. obviously, that's a hard sell to a country that's very weary about it. >> well, what's happened recently in the wake of today is that the argument has now pivoted, right? this is a statement from john mccain and lindsey graham in response to some of the developments about this idea of some kind of international custody taking of syria's chemical weapons. "it should be clear to members of congress that only the threat of military action against the assad regime's chemical weapons possibilities is what could create a possibility for assad to give up control of those weapons. for this reason, congress should proceed with its plan to consider and vote on the authorization for use of force that is now before the senate. today's developments should make members of congress more willing to vote yes." sam, that is the argument the president made in the interviews tonight, and it also is precisely the same argument the bush administration made in the run-up to the iraq war, that,
basically, the credible threat of force was getting the weapons inspectors back in, and it was only that that allowed any kind of diplomatic, nonviolent solution to be possible. >> yeah, and you know, i guess the assad regime wasn't watching the domestic political debate, because anyone who was watching it would probably come to the conclusion that they were never going to pass the authorization to begin with. but i don't doubt the idea that the possibility of a u.s. military strike weighed on assad. what happens, what differentiates obama from bush, i guess, in the end, is what do you do once you get back to that negotiating table? how much leeway will the administration give the assad regime to let inspectors in, to secure that chemical weapons. what kind of power do we grant the russians in the process? there are a million questions that surround this. and the question of course comes down to time. how many more people are you going to tolerate being killed in this civil war, which is ongoing in tandem with this chemical weapons attack? so, there's a ton of variables out there. >> neera, that -- >> chris, sorry. chris, i think that issue of the iraq analogy is breaking down
right now. i mean, the president is taking a pause. >> right. >> he said he wants to actually see where this goes. he said himself, he said tonight, i'm sure he'll continue to say that military action should be our last resort. that's exactly the opposite of how the bush administration approached the run-up to the war. >> yeah, and i think that's the key point, is that we're at this decision procedure where there is an opportunity to climb down from what looked like an all but, you know, foreordained military strike, and the president seems open to the possibility of that, and i think that's to his great credit. neera tandem, sam stein, thank you both. in an interview with an american journalist, bashar al assad issues an ominous warning that if the u.s. strikes syria, they should "expect every action" in retaliation. that's coming up. lactose-free® it's 100% real milk that's easy to digest so you can fully enjoy the dairy you love.
today, for the first time in almost two years, two years in which tens of thousands of syrians have been killed by his forces and hundreds of men, women and children allegedly gassed with chemical weapons, we heard directly from bashar al assad on an american tv network. >> do you consider chemical warfare equivalent to nuclear warfare? >> i don't know. we haven't tried either. >> yeah, but you know. you're a head of state and you understand the consequences of weapons that don't discriminate, that are beyond -- >> technically, they're not the
same, but morally, they're the same. >> morally, they're the same. >> they have the same, but again, killing is killing. >> tonight, with a possible off-ramp for both the united states and syria coming into view, it's more important than ever to try and understand where bashar al assad, a man who holds the fate of millions of people in his hands, is coming from. joining me to discuss that now is the co-founder and executive eeditor of an independent media project, a correspondent for msnbc news and bloomberg television. the interview with charlie rose what was your takeaway? obviously, the interview happened before this new development today, but in terms of understanding how assad is approaching this and approaching the possibility of an american intervention into this. what was your takeaway? >> the most important thing in my mind is assad is a master of maintaining control. he knows what to say and what to do to stave off a u.s. strike. the one thing i disagree with the last block is that assad has been watching the domestic debate in the u.s. and is
delighting in it because he knows this is slowing down the momentum here in the u.s. toward any military action and he just bought himself a lot more time in the past 24 hours. >> in fact, there is a letter today from syrian parliamentarians to their colleagues in the u.s. arguing for why they should vote against the strike and quoting fdr. and clearly, assad is pushing all the buttons. he's talking about colin powell and this is no better than bush and show us the evidence. so, he clearly is fairly read into domestic politics of the u.s. in terms of how he's evaluating this. >> absolutely, and it is not a question in my mind that just the threat of the u.s. strike has changed conditions on the ground for assad himself, for the core of his regime and for the dynamics on the battlefield. you've seen a lot of movement in the past week, at least my sources suggesting that there have been a lot of hopes for defection, some actual defections from the assad regime, and this sense that they really are scared of the strike. i felt like i could see it in that interview with charlie rose. he was not his regular self. >> so, do you think the assad regime are factoring quite heavily into their thinking the
possibility there's an american strike, even though, as we've heard, it is going to be targeted and limited, and even though john kerry called it incredibly small today, and even though intelligence about where their military capabilities are may not be complete, you think this really weighs heavily on them? >> chris, for the first time in 2 1/2 years, american is showing some foreign policy muscle. we were a wet noodle four weeks ago and now we're showing some muscle. that is a dramatic change in damascus. >> but wet noodle and muscle are the kinds of descriptions to me that sometimes, it seems like obscure more that be they reveal, right? if we can be muscular in a way that's massively stupid or counter productive, that doesn't help us necessarily, right? i mean, there's going to be some response to an american strike in syria, should that come about. >> absolutely, and you heard that also in the interview and assad throwing out the threat of asymmetric warfare, its alliance with iran and hezbollah clearly in the mix and on the minds of many americans worried about what can come from this. i'm telling you what i've heard from syrians on the ground and from rebels, secular and also
from the al qaeda-linked on the ground. it's a sense that the battle has really been this kind of bloody stalemate for 2 1/2 years, and the notion of a u.s. strike that would not just take out chemical weapons capacity but some of their air capacity from a regime that is very comfortable sending stud missiles at civilians. >> but this is precisely the ambiguity that is at the heart of the debate over syrian intervention, which is that if you talk to people allied with the rebel forces, if you talk to people connected to the opposition, the hope is that this strike will tip the balance of the battlefield. yet, the argument that john kerry, president obama and others have to make to the american people is that this is not a strike to tip the balance of the battlefield, because we refuse to take possession of the civil war. this is a punitive strike for the use of chemical weapons to enforce an international norm. yet, that's not how it's perceived on the ground in syria. >> welcome to a wicked problem in the middle east in the 21st century. the obama administration has to play to an audience at home while scaring an audience in damascus. it's very complicated. but across the board what we're
hearing from u.s. sources and even from syrians is that the biggest disaster would be a complete and sudden collapse of the assad regime. nobody wants that because nobody wants the vacuum. everybody knows it's a messy picture, but over the long run, if you don't have a solution in syria, it's going to cost us. my main point, i'm not directly for or against the strike. i really see the down sides in both cases, but i have to tell you that when i look at syria, it looks like a bill that we just haven't paid for 2 1/2 years. this is a highly consequential war, it's a proxy war. you have the u.s. and its allies on the other side, russia, iran and hezbollah on the other. this will have to solve for something. >> given you have these proxy geopolitical alliances sort of at an impasse, does today's news mean that we have a possible climbdown? >> i think we do have this possible strike. but while we've been talking about chemical weapons, the assad regime has been using cluster bombs, scud missiles, conventional weapons. the conflict itself isn't drawing to a close unless we really do something about it. does that mean we use a threat of the strike as a stick and
move everyone towards the negotiating table? can we do that? are we sophisticated enough? that's the real test for the obama administration. what they want is a calm and stable, and hopefully, contained conflict in syria. and that's not what they have now. >> lara setrakian from "syria deeply," thank you so much for your time. appreciate it. >> my pleasure.
and george zimmerman is briefly taken into police custody after allegedly threatening his estranged wife with a gun and is released and given his gun back. i'll talk to joy reid about that. first, i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today, beginning with a job search gone wrong across the pond. curry's is a chain of electronics retailers in the uk and one of its stores has recently been outed for a rather disturbing hiring practice. college graduate allen bacon says he applied as a sales clerk in south wales and didn't get the job, but today he's getting an apology. mr. bacon, explain your deal to the bbc. >> i and nine other job applicants were taken to a back room and we were, after some short introductions, we were made to dance with each other as part of the job process. >> bacon says he thought it was a joke, but the store manager wasn't kidding, and when they started to play around the world, the jobseekers danced. >> the general feeling in the room was oh, this is a joke, just messing with us this whole time. but no, they were being quite
surface. on the serious, i have to look positive. i was smiling, laughing along with it, but inside i felt degraded. >> the electronics giant is now the one getting a public shaming, apologizing for what they said was a team-building exercise and something that isn't a part of their official curry's recruitment process. click three would like to remind anyone doing any hiring that there is only one david brent and he is only funny because he is fiction. the second awesomest thing on the internet today, the most accurate and simultaneously most understated headline of the day from the website mashable, car narrowly avoids being crushed by boulder. indeed, as viewed from a dashboard camera on a taiwanese roadway, here's a car and here's a car that narrowly avoids being crushed. and wait for it. there's the boulder. ka-thunk! the smartest person on the planet was the driver with the dashboard cam who quickly backed the heck out of there! thankfully, "the taipei times" reports the driver was not hurt. 20 seconds before impact, you
can see the landslide begin at the top of the mountain. the driver possibly too distracted by the glow of the golden arches to notice. there is a lesson to be learned here, folks, and there isn't. the next time you're on rainy mountainside stretch of road in taiwan, maybe pull in tomorrow a big mac first. and patrick stewart internet folk hero. the classical trainer has received worldwide glory for posing with rare fruit and, of course, instructing viewers on the art of the take. [ inaudible ] [ laughter ] >> but now he's truly outdone himself. captain backyard, whose online avatar shows him sitting alone in a ball pit, tweeted out an affirmation of sorts to followers -- "yes, married." the accompanying photo shows stewart and longtime girlfriend, now his wife, both in a ball pit confirming the reports that the two got hitched this weekend.
you may have heard over the weekend that michael bloomberg called someone's campaign racist. that someone is bill de blasio, who will join me in a moment, and he's the candidate who, should the shock of much of new york's 1%, appears poised to win tomorrow's new york mayoral democratic primary, and the reason why mr. bloomberg called mr. de blasio's campaign racist and then kind of sort of tried to run it back is because of ads like this. >> i want to tell you a little bit about bill de blasio. he is the only democrat with the guts to really break from the bloomberg years and he's the
only one who will end a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color. bill de blasio will be a mayor for every new yorker, no matter where they live or what they look like. and i'd say that even if he weren't my dad. >> bill de blasio has a multiracial family, and like every other candidate in the history of modern political campaigns, he has featured his family in campaign ads. somehow, that has offended michael bloomberg's sensibilities, de blasio has positioned himself as the anti-bloomberg candidate in the race, and it's clearly made the billionaire mayor a little defensive. in an interview with "new york magazine," bloomberg characterized the campaign as one fueled by class warfare and racist to boot. when asked to clarify what he meant by racist, the mayor tried to backtrack -- well, no, no, i mean he's using an appeal with his family to gain support. i think it's obvious to everybody who's been watching what he's been doing. i don't think imhae himself is racist. i point out that i'm jewish and am attracting the jewish vote. following that interview, the
mayor's office asked "new york magazine" to add an interjension which was inaudible on the exchange. they said the added remarks do not alter the meaning of the conversation. in the meantime, de blasio's daughter is defending her dad. >> i can see from afar how maybe people would think that my dad was using his family, but if you look at the facts, he did not seek out a black woman 20 years ago to marry and then put on display, and my mom, my brother and i are all capable of making our own decisions. >> joining me now is bill de blasio, democratic candidate for mayor of new york, current public advocate for new york city. were you surprised to read that interview? >> well, i didn't read it, chris, i walked out of reverend sharpton's saturday morning rally at the national action network, met a group of media in the middle of the questions this quote was read to me for the first time. so, when i heard it, i had an impulse of thinking this couldn't possibly be the truth.
and i said at the time, of course, if that's true, that's inappropriate. when i heard the whole interview, you know, i don't know what's more troubling, the comment about the racist, quote/unquote racist campaign or the class warfare, which tells me that mayor bloomberg is in denial of new york city the tale of two cities, the fact that 46% of people in the city are at or near the poverty level according to a government study. >> right. >> so, i think there was a level of denial, a level of dis connect from the lives of the people he's supposed to be serving, and obviously an angst by the fact that events were now moving beyond his control. but the core that when he directed at my family was just absolutely uncalled for. >> here's my theory. ready? tell me if i'm wrong. mike bloomberg thinks you're the easiest candidate to beat among the democratic field. he wants the republicans to beat you. and so, he has decided to throw
the election your way in the last few days by calling you a racist for featuring your multiracial family, thereby creating a backlash that pushes you over the 40% threshold so you avoid a runoff and then get your clock cleaned by a republican opponent on election day. what do you think of that? >> chris, i think you need to get out more often. that's what i think. it's a fascinating theory. i think when you look at the whole interview again, there is an angst running through it. and i think this piece about class warfare really is the fulcrum of the whole interview. that his sort of theory is being rejected hourly by the people of this city. >> here he is. he's talking about the way to help people who are less fortunate -- this is his comment. "the way to help those who are less fortunate is number one, attract more fortunate people. they are the ones that pay the bills. people that would get very badly hurt and are going to drive out the very wealthy are the people he professes try to help. caring people part with his two cities thing doesn't make any sense for me. it's a destructive strategy.
he's a populist, left-wing guy, but this city is not two groups, and if it is to some extent, it is one group paying for services for the other." what about people who worry about the tax base, who say look at the actual dollars and cents here, look at the new york city budget every year. a huge amount is coming from finance. when wall street has a good year, the city's coffers are high, and when it has a bad year, the coffers are low, meaning cuts in schools and cops and all sorts of city service seas? >> well, first, on the bloomberg watch, with that theory in place, free market lassie fair approach, we have gotten to 46% of folks at or near the poverty level, and the mayor's own administration acknowledges that, and it's getting worse. so, by definition, something's got to give. you can't continue on this path productively. second, one supporter i have i'm very honored to have is joseph steve lis, the nobel prize-winning economist, one of the most powerful voices in this country on the point that if you don't restructure this economy for everyone having some kind of
buy-in, some kind of opportunity to move ahead, some kind of buying power, we'll continue in a structural decline. and i think here locally, we have to act on that point, that we've got to find ways to get people back on track to have a decent living in this city. >> can a mayor do that? >> a mayor can do part of it. paid sick days, which is locally controlled, helps to create a little more economic stability. living wage legislation helps make sure that when we subsidize the company, they pay a better wage. mayors can help the fast-food workers to organize and use the influence of the mayor's office to do that. mayors can take subsidies away, and i would do this, from big corporations, and direct it to helping small business, helping the city or university where people can get skills for better-paying jobs. there's so many, and i most talked about taxing the wealthiest new yorkers, those over $500,000 or more to help our school system actually serve our kids again. >> for the folks that are watching this right now that don't live in new york city, are not going to vote tomorrow, should they care whether you win? >> oh, absolutely, because this is about a direction that would
give us a chance of reversing these inequalities. i always say, the inequalities we're experiencing in new york city, income, education, health care, policing, they've all become structural. if it goes on much longer -- >> across the country, you're saying. >> well, across the country, but in new york city, they've really dug in the last five years, the last five years of a bad economy. if we don't start the reversal now, i don't know how long it will take to ever get back. >> people who are going to vote tomorrow, let me give you the most cynical view of bill de blasio. basically, this is somebody who smartly understood the campaign message to push with this electorate. everybody else thought everybody loves bloomberg, fourth term, sounds great. no. bill de blasio, for city politics, understood that what was going to resonate with his progressive message, a tale of two cities, haves and have-nots, that's just talk, a smart way of winning this primary in a crowded field and that's going to be long gone by the time he's mayor. >> you know, pundits who don't
bother to understand someone's history get to that conclusion very quickly, or cynical people do. i started out in movement politics, you know. i started out in the nicaragua movement, in the power movement, in the dinkins world, which was the ultimate insurgent political movement in new york city taking on then incumbent ed koch. so, my world view has been always how to use the electoral progress for progressive social change, and i'm following it through now in a way that's very, very consistent with the values i've always held. i think what's so shocking is the values i'm talking about i think are the majority values of this city. >> well, right now, they are proving to be, as you poll very well heading into tomorrow with a sizable lead in the polls. new york city mayoral candidate bill de blasio, thanks so much. >> thanks, chris. appreciate it. coming up, george zimmerman is back in the news, and not for speeding this time. today he was briefly taken into custody for allegedly threatening his estranged wife and her father with a gun. joy reid will be here to discuss that. she's always had a playful side.
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58 days since being acquitted of all charges, including second-degree murder for shooting and killing 17-year-old trayvon martin, george zimmerman found himself today briefly back in police custody in florida. according to lake mary police report, zimmerman's wife shellie, who a few days ago filed for divorce, called police to say zimmerman punched her father, was putting his hands on her gun. we pick up the 911 call after he left the house but remained on
the property. >> he continues to have his hand on his gun and keeps saying "step closer," and he's just threatening all of us. >> step closer and what? >> with his firearm. and he's going to shoot us. he punched my dad in the nose. my dad has a mark on his face. i saw his glasses were on the floor. he accosted my father and then took my ipad out of my hands and smashed it and cut it with a pocket knife. i don't know what he's capable of. i'm really, really scared. >> at this point, the police arrived and shellie zimmerman can be heard telling her father to take cover. >> dad, get behind the car or something. i don't know if he's going to start shooting at us or not. >> are you outside right now? >> yes, we are. [ inaudible ] dad, get inside the house! george might start shooting at us, i don't know. we're going inside the house. >> okay, go back inside. are you guys both inside now? >> yep. >> okay. stay in there, okay?
let the police take care of it. >> okay. he's got his hands in the air. he's not touching his weapon. >> a few hours after the call, george zimmerman was taken into what police are calling investigative custody, which means he couldn't leave the scene until police were done trying to figure out just what had happened. around the same time, george zimmerman's brother, robert zimmerman tweeted "we've learned from the case not to jump to conclusions, to wait for facts, to avoid speculation. news is a business, not your friend." shellie zimmerman essentially decided not to press charges against her estranged husband, who claims that shellie was the on a congressor. zimmerman is a free man tonight and attorney mark o'mara says he's gotten his gun back. since being released, he was pulled over twice for speeding, once armed. in another incident, he visited the manufacturer of the gun he used to shoot trayvon martin. it is hard to hear this news today and not have any reaction. joy reid covered the trial and
shellie, you're doing really good, okay? this is a tough situation for anyone, all right? i'll stay on the line with you, all right, until our units can speak with you, all right? >> okay. >> all right, are you okay? you said he did take something out of your hand. do you need medical as well? >> um, i don't think so. just shock. >> okay, all right. i'm going to go ahead and get md to respond, okay? >> okay. dad, get inside right now. >> make sure he stays inside until someone comes and lets you guys know it's okay to step out. stay inside. >> okay.
>> joining me is msnbc contributor joy reid, also managing editor of thegrio.com. this news broke today and just everything in my cell phone media universe just went nuts. >> mine too. >> why, why the intensity of the reaction of this? >> well, you know, it's interesting. as we were having this conversation, we were talking about sort of after the o.j. verdict, remember there was a sense in a lot of america, particularly among white america that, you know what, karma's going to get this guy? sooner or later, this guy we know did it is going to do himself in and something's going to blow his whole life up. and i think there is a sense that george zimmerman since the trial has not behaved by a man chastened by the act of killing someone, that he's someone who is speeding through texas and speeding through florida and just sort of living his best life now -- >> let's also say, the gun -- whether he's speeding or not, the visit to the gun manufacturer to me personally -- >> right. >> -- because i watch as i try to understand who this person is and how they feel about what happened and whether they're appropriately sorry for what happened -- that was the moment
where i was like, whoa, no, no, no, no, no. >> there's something sort of insensitive about it, and we don't know george zimmerman, obviously. >> at all. >> we don't know his interior life, what he's doing in between the speeding incidents, in between going to get the gun, but there is a sense that in his public presentation, there is a bravado to it that's pricked at a lot of people, particularly in the african-american community. so, when this happened, there was a sort of holding of collective breath. okay, what's going to happen? is this going to result in an arrest? what is going to be the adjudication of this situation? and i think as it played out, the initial reaction to it was this is the george zimmerman we didn't get to see during the trial. >> right. >> the person who had the past violations of the law, the person who had a domestic in his past. >> march of 2012. >> correct. and the person whose attorney really played out every negative thing they could find that they believed about trayvon martin but who presented zimmerman as a total innocent. and then now you're seeing this other side to him. so, i think there was a certain amount of schadenfreude in the social media world. >> i should add that in terms of the domestic dispute, it wasn't 2012, earlier. >> right, 2005. >> there's a report coming out
of our local affiliate that police are saying the gun wasn't there in this incident that happened today. i think what's interesting is that his wife appeared to think the gun was there whether it was or not. >> correct. >> and it hit home to me listening to the terror in that 911 call, it's just the way in which the presence of a gun is transformational on all interactions between humans in the midst of conflicts. that is the bedrock fact of what happened on that horrible night in which we lost trayvon martin is the presence of a gun absolutely alters the calculus of everything that happens between two human beings involved in any kind of conflict. >> yeah. it increases the level of terror on the part in this case of shellie zimmerman, just believing, whether it turns out there was a gun there or not, but her believing, she was saying she was afraid they would be shot, she and her father, that just the presence and terror of that, yeah, absolutely. and in domestic situations, we know taking the zimmerman case out of it entirely, we know in domestic violence situations, the presence of a gun can be absolutely deadly and that it is much more common, in fact, for that interaction to end in
someone being harmed than the situation with trayvon martin. >> and that gets us back to the record when we're talking about the zimmerman people who feel like they saw him on trial or not -- and again, i don't know the man at all and this is all through the prism of an incredibly public covered trial, which can be distorting, we should be clear. >> sure. >> that said, what struck me is that having reported on domestic violence, been around people that work in domestic violence is violence to an intimate partner is something that we somehow put in another category. >> right. >> there's the thing that happens in the home and then there is violence to a stranger. and one of the things i think we've learned over the years as domestic violence policy has gotten far more enlightened, is that there is a connection between the two. >> absolutely. by the way, in florida, as in most states, had he been arrested, he would have lost title to that gun, and that there is in the law a direct connection, that if you are arrested on a domestic violence incident, one of the first things that happens is that your gun is taken away because the law does recognize the
connection and the causal connection between really deadly violence and the home, domestic violence and presence of a firearm. so, had he actually been arrested, the police there in a sense preserved his right to keep his gun, because had he been arrested, he would have lost it. >> and yet, is the presence of the gun that of course lurks over this, lurks over george zimmer man's life from now on. that's the other thing i thought when i saw this. you have become this symbolic figure of injustice, right? and there is no -- there is a certain percentage of the population i think understandably, and i am incredibly sympathetic to, that is just going to see you as embodying this horrible thing that happened. and that pain is not going away any time soon. >> it is not going away. i was struck at the 50th anniversary celebration for the march on washington how many people, including members of martin luther king jr.'s family, his sister mentioned trayvon martin, unasked, read him into the narrative. he's become sort of an emmitt hill figure for a lot of people because he is the embodiment of profiling, the sense of feeling
out of place in one's own country and the terror of a gun. you're not safe if threatened with a gun. >> nbc contributor joy reid, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now, celebrating its fifth anniversary on msnbc. congratulations. you changed everything. everything came on news, everything on news, it is amazing. you've plowed in ground that's has all these wonderful seeds in it proud sprouting. >> thank you, man. turning 5 in tv is kind of like turning 100 in people years, so -- >> 500, are you kidding? >> yeah, thank you. i really appreciate it. which is a nice way of sort of saying that i feel old. but anyway, here we go. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. this is our five-year anniversary, and we are pretty happy to be here, got to say. all right, these are the countries in the world that have nuclear weapons. when united states and russia set off the first atomic tests in the 1940s, a lot of people tht